Pay $160 for the AREZ Sticker: The Mess GPP Landed AIC Partners and Consumers in

The same exact graphics cards, made by the same exact manufacturer, in the same exact factory, with the only difference being the “AREZ Strix” branding, priced a whopping USD $160 apart – that’s the kind of mess NVIDIA GPP (GeForce Partners Program) left in its wake. Newegg lists the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 (STRIX-RXVEGA64-O8G-GAMING) graphics card at USD $589.99. This card was made before ASUS decided to re-brand its AMD Radeon graphics cards under the AREZ Strix brand, necessitated by NVIDIA GPP. The post-rebrand AREZ Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 (AREZ RXVEGA64-O8G-GAMING), is priced at $749.99 on the same site, a whopping $160 premium for what is basically a sticker. Just to make sure this isn’t a discrepancy between the various sellers from Newegg’s marketplace, we also post screenshots that confirm both listings are “sold and shipped by Newegg” (and not a marketplace partner).

We noticed this anomaly on Newegg last week (the week of 9th July), and initially dismissed it for a listing error that would be resolved by the retailer in a couple of days. The week passed, and the listings didn’t change. NVIDIA triggered a strong backlash for the language of its GeForce Partners Program (GPP), which implicitly forced its AIC (add-in card) to keep their well-established gaming hardware brands (eg: ROG, Aorus, MSI Gaming, etc.,) exclusive to GeForce GTX graphics cards, forcing them to re-brand their AMD Radeon products (and stripping them of those well-established brands, thereby putting AMD at a disadvantage). NVIDIA eventually cancelled GPP, but not before the likes of ASUS and MSI committed changes to their product stacks. AREZ is the Frankenstein’s monster that was too late to abort, which now threatens to rip off uninformed consumers.

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